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Name that car !

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A set of 360 degree interiors of cars

Based on the interior only, can you name that car? There are 10 of them. I can't name most of them front the exterior. I can get the marque if the badge is clear.


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Three steps forward and a ladder. No snakes!

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A successful day in JV's world of TEL. 2 1/2 hours with a SEND student and his Support Assistant clicking through 360 tours of the GB MET sites. It was wonderful to share his enthusiasms and to look at ways to follow this up by involving him in creations and additions to these.

Set of 360 images of the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth

An easy win too with Planet eStream, changing a student schema to a staff and uploading 4 campus shot interviews as 'College Network' and 'Staff Only' and made readily viewable in one place with the ability to add to these any variety of links or further content.

Still from a documentary on Bansky from YouTube

All this and as I complete three months doing the Social Media for Lewes Green Party I put up a piece linking to 'More or Less' on the Election in which the money raised by different parties is measured in time to count out a stash of £10 notes. No guessing for which parties come out of top. I was surprised to find the Green Party were ahead of the Scottish National Party though.

£10 notes

Should politicians be able to buy our votes in this way?

Ruth Alexander, BBC 4, imagined how long it would take to count the cash received by each political party at the rate of £10 note every sec: 

1/4hr: SNP

4 hr 20 mns: Green

24 hrs: LibDems

3 days: Brexit party

5 days: Labour Donation

2 Wks: Conservatives 


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Working on the Nitty Gritty of SEND support

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Cerating a series of 360 Tours for SEND students is one thing - providing the level of detail that will support their curiosity and interest is another. With reading, though not understanding, often the issues, wherever possible Immerserive Reader is used on text.



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Design Museum

Online Training for SEND Tutors

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019, 12:52


Their UK base is a short walk from my college so meetings are easy to organise. The intention is to develop a project where we could work collaboratively. Say to do with Independent Travel Training. 

We met at The TES SEND Exhibition in London last month

An hour of sharing background and ideas regarding SEND tutor support and the potential for creating content for SEND students.


Shared ideas on:


  • Independent Travel Training

  • LRC induction

  • How to use a cash machine


Their tutor training products include:


  • Attachment and Trauma

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Dyslexia

  • Learning Strategies

  • Hearing Impairment

  • Hearing Impairment (FE)

  • Motor Coordination Difficulties

  • Multi-Sensory Impairment

  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs

  • Supporting Wellbeing and Mental Health in School

  • Understanding and Supporting Behaviour

  • Vision Impairment

  • Vision Impairment (Further Education)


Available here: https://www.oltinternational.net/our-courses 


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Design Museum

If only it were this simple - I'm a worrier !

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What's not to worry about?

Friday 13th December

Mass starvation

Mass extinction

Catastrophic weather events

Authoritarian Government

World War III

No future for our kids

Wealth in the hands of too few

The Crown series II spells the end of the Royal Family - its a dirge which paints a poor picture of the Queen. 

Meanwhile I'm stitching together a 360 tour for SEND students to make the journey from College to McDonalds (or Greggs) and by way of contrast a 360 tour of the German Cemetery at Langemark. 

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SEND Independent Travel Training

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 18 Nov 2019, 14:33

It's all joined up - from College, via three pelican crossing, a bus and a pedestrianised zone with mized traffic use to one of the student's favourite destinations - Greggs! 

This will have a collection of 360 images linked together with close ups of key parts of the journey, such as the Pelican Crossing request button and the Red and Green Man, the electronic guide to when a bus is due, then on the bus using a swipe card, taking your seat, and knowing when to press the Stop Button before getting off. Then navigating the street in the right direction towards the planned destination. This might be Greggs, but can also be McDonalds. 

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Design Museum

What matters?

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It matters to make a difference. My goal is to create elearning that meets a need or tackles a problem NOT to indulge a person, department or institution by creating sexy creations which many bells and interactive whistles that achieves nothing.

Working with Special Education Needs & Disability Students could not be more sharply and clearly defined as making a difference - and in a digital environment where many of them feel confident.

Working in education the ever present pressure though is on resources: financial and human. We cannot and could not operate as an agency taking a brief, calculating needs and costs and schedulnig the work load for a team of people to then research, write and execute.

Here I have to make do being a 'Jack of All Trades' and work around the limited availabiity of teachers.


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All Aboard !

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Courtesy of Stagecoach I got on a bus to take a series of 360 images that will then be stitched together into a clickable 'Tour' for Special Educational Needs students' Independent Travel Training.

This will shortly have sets of clickable tags, a video clip and hotspot and perhaps a simple quiz. 

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Heading out to take a series of 360 images

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Delighted that Stagecoach have been so supportive in my efforts to create an interactive 'Independent Travel Tour' for SEND students. They are not only OK with my taknig photos on the bus (just speak to the driver), but also offered to lay on a bus at the depot.

McDonald's, the favourite destination of the students, were good too.

A set of 360 clickable images in a 'Tour' will then taken the students from the college, across a couple of roads, to the bus stop, onto a bus, into town and through the shopping mall to McDonald's - and then back again!

I'll share the link here > 

All to be shot on a Ricoh Theta SC and stitched together on ThingLink. 


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Design Museum

So east to add enriching elements like sound and video

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 4 Nov 2019, 15:24




This is a piece of voice over recorded by one of our performing arts students

There are also simply video clips on how to swipe in and out of the centre, and how to login to a computer


The idea is that anyone will find it easy to create interactive 360 tours such as this for all kinds of different reasons. 

Where do you think the applications are going to be most powerful? 


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Design Museum

Skype with the Creator/Owner CEO of ThingLink

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 1 Nov 2019, 12:25

‘Beautiful images’ said CEO of ThingLink, Ulla Maaria Koivula

I had a delightful exchange with Ulla Maaria Koivual the Creator and CEO of the burgeoning interactivities platform ThingLink this morning. 

Being in Helsinki and over from the US she can more easily take up a Skype call. Otherwise this would have been late evening last night for her, breakfast for me.

I told my story, in part, with the ThingLink platform over the last 18 months. I couldn't honestly remember why or how I ended up trialing ThingLink. We had one 360 camera, bought a couple more and I started to take images. Then we looked for a host platform and tried more than one. At some point, probably because of an email making positive noises from ThingLink we got a free trial that was extended many times. Breaching some parameters summer 2018 when we got a lot of visitors I had to beg to keep us online until I pushed through a tiny spend shared between Learning Resource and Met Marketing. They were happy to oblige - keen to see the platform being used. 

I shared how interest in the platform would wax and wane and how I try to sell myself to tutors as their very own agency and support and facilitor. I offered reasons why something is not followed through: students back from holidays, curriculum and time pressures ...

I gushed about the recent upgrades:

Ease of creating a 360 tour with Thumbnails

Ease of adding text and massive plus for Immersive Reader for accessibility reasons.

And just added, on the fly, a bit of audio yesterday (this to a video clip of hands pressing the Ctrl, Alt an Delete keys at a computer keyboard.

Nervously I dug out on the fly the gmail sign ins for Marketing and for Learning and Ulla was immediately able to see what I was doing, the plan we are on and much more besides I am sure. 

I introduced GB MET and the advantages of being a vocational college covering things such as: construction, carpentry, aeronautics, motor vehicle workshops, performing arts, theatre, props and special effects, textiles, fine art and fashion and so on. 

Ulla, coming from a teacher background some eons ago - maybe 10 years I think,  wants the platform used in the classroom for collaborative project learning. Later I explained to someone how I saw this happening, say a trip behind the scenes at Glyndbourne with students taking images then tagging and annotating what they saw as a project to submit as course work. Then the act of doing this work itself embeds and ingrains the knowledge they have created and thought (and fought) over. 

My experience qualifies me as a Educator. I go beyond meeting the basic criteria. Am I the first person in the UK to gain this recognotion? 


It is hoped that I will be able to attend Bett Jan 23 to 26th in London and that some of the work I have created for GB MET will be showcased.

I joined the ThingLink Facebook  Educators to be part of the community of active users.


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Design Museum

So easy and intuative

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 31 Oct 2019, 12:57

Using ThingLink to create a simple, clickable, 360° tour of the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) at one of our 5 sites at GB MET for SEND students (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) I simply shot this clip on an iPad, which uploaded to my Google Photos album. I could have edited but had no need to do so. Labelled and downloaded I simply added the clip which can play on a loop until the user clicks away. I clicked on a microphone 'audio' button and added a simple commentary and we're done.

What I did find however, is that using the text box with a video clip sees the clip severely cropped. Next time I will also shot some far wider frames, possibly with a bias to the right hand side of the frame, so that the automatic cropping complements the video playback rather than rendering it useless - It is hardly good practice to show someone the need to press the Ctlr, Alt and Delete buttons together if you can only see one button. The SEND students I am advised have the mental age of children under the age of 10. 

Here's the link to this frame : https://www.thinglink.com/video/1244289378725920769 

What do you think?

How might these be used?

Health & Safety training and tours of college workshops?

Visits to distance building sites?

Underwater interactive tours of underwater cave systems?

What happens if you shrink to the size of a pea and are then accidentally swallowed? 

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Creating e-learning for SEND Students

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 30 Oct 2019, 10:11

Now that the development phase is passing into review, first with an SEND tutor and then with SEND studens themselves I am learning:

    • Value of Video Demo: signing in to a the resource centre, logging in to a computer.

    • Importance of talking them through things we may take for granted.  

    • Pick out key things, in this case opening and closing times.
    • Add a quiz to this to give it emphasis and to engage them.
    • Tell them often. They love repetition and will return regularly to something for a reminder
  • As Immersive Reader provides, best to have text on blue, yellow or green background and use Comic Sans as their favoured font as it is less 'harsh' than others.

  • Not all have Smartphones, say 5 out of 14 have no phone. 

  • 360 headsets would be fun to use if we had them, but proper ones!

  • 85% are auditory, or visual/auditory learners

    • Though my learning from the OU is that these learning preference categories are a nonsence unfounded in any science. Rather in this instance it is a medical aid surely? Someone who cannot see, or cannot hear will have a preference away from seeing or hearing - naturally, with it having nothing to do with learning.

I am delighted to share this with the OU community and my followers. Thoughts and comments please!

I was delighted with the course tutor's response, though I'm mostly awaiting for a response from a number of the SEND students themselves. It has to work for them, and be adjusted, even reinvented so as to appeal to and to work for them!


“Slick, professional … and a lot of clicking which they will love!”


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ThingLink tour of Learning Resource Centre for SEND Students using Immersive Reader

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The breakthrough over recent months is the ease to create one of these tours. Here the added benefit is text that can be read by Microsoft's Immersive Reader -  this makes accessibility possible with the user in charge over fonts, backgrounds and the way in which the text is read out.

Give it a go! Provide feedback. The tutor for our Special Educational Needs Students has given a resounding thumbgs up. It's the opportunity to click on lots of things, and to repeat peices they keep forgetting without having to forever ask for help (or not).

A few things yet to add and the approach will be developed once I am siting down with the students themselves to see how they respond.



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Simle done. A 360 Tour of the Learning Resource Centre aimed at Students with Special Educational Needs

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There are distinct limitations when using an 'off the shelf' platform. The design component is limited so you have to use your imagination to generate text that is large and accessible. For now this features my voice too. My prefered option will be to video a student doing this and either use them 'in vision' or as a voice over.

Watch this space. 

Now I suppose I need to add some voice over narration to several dozen other such 360 tours. 

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Design Museum

I'm going to take a bus

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I'm going to take a bus an imagine it is the first time I have ever been on a bus. I must have taken a bus with a grandparent, or an older sibling. Unlike kids today I was taking the bus a couple of miles up the road to school when I was 7 or 8. Perhaps age 6 with my older brother. 

I remember taking my young son on a double-decker bus for the first time. He was so excited about the bus with the 'windy stairs' to the top deck. Similarly on his first train journey he held up his ticket thrilled to be going on such a trip.

I am getting into the head of a young person with special education needs as I work my way through a 90 minute transcript with an educator who works with SEND students. 

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Great Day until this happened !

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Ending my first 12 hour day, 7:30 am out of the door, 7:30pm home, a pheasant 'floats' into the road and hits the wing mirror hard. It cops it. I roll down the window and grab the mirror before it clatters and breaks too. Its neck broken (the wing mirror, and no doubt the poor pheasant too) I can see that the entire unit will have to be replaced. That'll be £125 parts and labour sad

Otherwise the Digital Editor, Learning Technologist and Head Coach had a great day: an item added to The Western Front Association website - ironically the Gallipoli Association annual conference, a day developing the Students with Special Education Needs projects - transcribing the interviews and seeking ideas and assistance from colleagues internally, and then my first evening 'poolside' as the new Head Coach at Hailsham Swimming Club.

Home as our son gathers up his belongings to head for Paris on a six month placement with Kenzo (male fashion design - though they want him for his graphic art/illustrator skills).

I'm reading stuff and nodding off in bed by a shocking 8:45pm

I'm not so much as 'keeping the wolf from the door' as having the time of my life. 

Throw in some sailing and safety boat duties on the sea, some life-drawing and vegan cooking, running and walking the dog ... 


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Independent Travel eLearning for Special Education Needs and Disability Students

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My instructional design journey begins as I prepare to interview a subject matter expert on independent travel for students with special educational needs (SEN). I am posing questions against a 'learning journey' frame so that as I ask questions I can build these into a story. 

It is this story, and the ability to successfully and effectively bring the story to life, which will decide whether or not this elearning experience achieves its goals.


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Elearning for Students with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

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Projects for the next four months with Open Access release in the New Year. 

Using a Cash Machine (ATM)

Learning points: 

1.       How many numbers are in an individual pin

2.       How to protect yourself from others seeing your pin number

3.       The colour of the button you press once you have entered the pin number

4.       In the home screen what does each tab mean i.e. cash withdrawal, printed balance, onscreen balance etc

5.       Who should know your pin number and why is it important that no one knows your pin number (outcomes)

Approach: Linear video with synched slides and bold caption on Planet eStream. 

Crossing the Road/Puffin/Pelican crossing

Learning points: 

1.       Where and how to stand when crossing the road (well back from the edge of the kerb, looking and listening for dangers etc)

2.       Look at the dangers of crossing the road (not paying attention, walking across the road when traffic is coming, not using crossing points)

3.       Colours of the Pelican Crossing lights – Green mean go or stop

4. When crossing still be looking and listening out for traffic

Approach: Linear video with synched slides and bold caption on Planet eStream. 

The Learning Resource Centre, Broadwater 

Learning points: 

1.       Who to go for help and what help they can offer (buy pens, change password and computer advice)

2.       Where the quick read books are within the LRC

3.       360 tour of the LRC, especially chill out room (is it a chill out room?)

4.       How to start the computer

5.       How to use the printers

6. Swiping in and out of LRC

Approach: ThingLink 360 tour with interactive hot spots, tour links and voice over narration. 

Independent Travel Training

Approach: Scenario-based elearning. Video with voice over, text and interactive prompts.

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How to use an ATM

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How things come around.

Starting out in corporate video training and information films in the 1980s I found myself working with an ex BBC Money Programme Producer Alan Scales who won the contract to replace a carousel slide show (really) sent round to all branches, with video. One of the stories we covered was the opening of Abbey National's first cash machine at their Baker Street Branch (and HQ). That was 1985 or 1986.

Here I am in 2019 planning to create a simple 'how to video' for Students with Special Educational Needs (SEN). This will include how to use an ATM and to use a Pelican Crossing. No production team - just me, a camera and tripod, student actors. No budget so no producer role. I'll cut it on my desktop. It will be 'hosted' on Planet eStream, as a play alone video, or with a second screen of synchedslides. 

I would have hoped after 34 years to have moved on but my 'career' has been a constant spiralling up and down and off in all directions as I catch fermal, or come to earth with a bump, or jump out (with or without a parachute


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Using TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning) with Students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

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Students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities [SEND]

My interventions, advise and efforts to date have been aimed to students without specific needs. I am now looking at what provision is available for our SEND students and how I can support them and their tutors.

SEND students will have difficulties with:

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Behaviour and social development
  • Physical or medical needs

Differentiated and personalised, even 1:1 teaching is required, rather than the teacher teaching from the end of a classroom and hoping to keep order and anyone engaged.

Personalisation and carefully structured lessons are key.

The aim is to provide help so that students can access the parts of the general curriculum that is available to all students. It is at the frontline of accessibility. Assessment is important as there is a constant need to understand and develop students’ progress. Observation is equally important. 


Some things I can read about (the rest I will have to pick up first hand)

  • If too detailed some students may feel threatened and disillusioned.
  • If the challenge is too great, work becomes boring and any effort is a waste of time. 

Suggestions include:

  • Creating a self-compiled visual dictionary for subject-specific vocabulary
  • Chunking the work
  • Using visual clues
  • Having a ‘lesson menu’ and tick off as the student completes tasks so that they can identify their own progress.

Some specific suggestions include: 

Unable to focus (ADHD)

  • Small sections
  • Have ample ‘time out’
  • Used realistic timed targets
  • Phased classwork and homework
  • Reading and writing is a challenge


  • Use of coloured overlays to reduce glare and jumping letters
  • Keep instructions simple and short

And in general: 

  • Facilitate 1:1 tutorials
  • Record lessons by phone or laptop
  • Use visuals to support written text

SEND students need to be catered for in a non-discriminatory way, in an inclusive environment, can only enhance the self image and self worth of young people.


To achieve a higher level of personal self-sufficiency and success.

Integration can reduce social stigmas and improve academic achievement. 

Where can technology help?

A special education program should be customised to address each individual student’s unique needs. 

Individualised Education Program

This will address each student’s unique learning issues and include specific educational goals. 

To help them participate in the educational environment as much as possible.

There are five broad categories of provision

  1. Inclusion

  2. Mainstreaming

  3. Segregation

  4. Exclusion

  5. Co-teaching

Individual Education Plan (IEP)

  • Targets
  • Provisions
  • Outcomes

What strategies will be used

What provision put in place?

Identifiable outcomes to monitor progress.

And include:

Likes, dislikes and anxieties

Home-based tasks

Specific: it is clear what the student should be working towards.

Measurable: it is clear when the target has been achieved.

Achievable: for the individual student.

Relevant:  to the student’s needs and circumstances.

Time-bound: targets are to be achieved by a specified time.

There are 14 categories under special education (in the US):

  1. Autism

  2. Deaf-blindness

  3. Deafness

  4. Developmental delay 

  5. Emotional and behavioral disorders

  6. Hearing impairment

  7. Intellectual disability (formerly referred to as mental retardation)

  8. Multiple disabilities

  9. Orthopedic impairment

  10. Other health impairment

  11. Specific learning disability

  12. Speech or language impairment

  13. Traumatic brain injury

  14. Visual impairment, including blindness

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